Kentucky Derby Pedigree Profile: Brooklyn Strong
Although Brooklyn Strong is technically a New York-bred, the bay gelding boasts a thoroughly Kentuckian pedigree ideally suited to success over classic distances.
Indeed, Brooklyn Strong joined the Road to the Kentucky Derby with a tenacious victory in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct, demonstrating his talent over extended distances. Any way you slice it, negotiating 1 1/4 miles on the first Saturday in May should be right up Brooklyn Strong’s alley.
Brooklyn Strong is a son of Wicked Strong, who first signaled his racing potential with a third-place effort against a strong field in the 2013 Remsen. A son of Kentucky Derby runner-up Hard Spun out of a mare by Kentucky Derby and Preakness (G1) champ Charismatic, Wicked Strong went on to compete with aplomb for two more seasons, most notably winning the 2014 Wood Memorial (G1) and finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby.
Wicked Strong’s first crop of foals failed to light up the racetrack, and he currently stands for a fee of just $3,500 at Pin Oak Lane Farm in Pennsylvania. But Wicked Strong has clearly passed on talent (and stamina) to Brooklyn Strong, his first U.S. graded stakes winner.
We can also credit Brooklyn Strong’s female family as a source of long-winded genetics. His dam, Riviera Chic, was sufficiently talented to prevail in a 1 3/8-mile allowance race and place third in the 1-mile Kentucky Cup Ladies Turf S. Two of her foals prior to Brooklyn Strong have won races, including the filly Danielle’s Pride, who successfully stretched her stamina over 1 1/8 miles in a $40,000 maiden claiming event at Saratoga.
Riviera Chic, in turn, is a daughter of Belmont Stakes (G1) runner-up Medaglia d’Oro and out of a mare by Kentucky Derby/Belmont Stakes winner Thunder Gulch. This is a pedigree geared strongly toward stamina, especially when you consider Medaglia d’Oro has repeatedly passed on classic stoutness as the sire of Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, Queen’s Plate S. winner Wonder Gadot, and Hong Kong Triple Crown winner Golden Sixty.
Tying everything together is the fact many of Brooklyn Strong’s immediate male ancestors—Wicked Strong, Medaglia d’Oro, Hard Spun, Charismatic, and Thunder Gulch—matured early enough to hit the board in one or more Triple Crown races. Stamina only goes so far if it’s of the late-maturing variety, but coming to hand too late shouldn’t be a concern for Brooklyn Strong. His success as a juvenile, coupled with his breeding, suggests Brooklyn Strong will be reaching his peak just in time for the 2021 classics.